Part 17 out of 18
such a barbarian to see the head cut off? "Nay," says he, "if
that was such a crime, I am sure I have made amends, for I
went to see it sewed on again." When he was at the
undertaker's, as soon as they had stitched him together, and
were going to put the body into the coffin, George, in my Lord
Chancellor's voice, said "My Lord lovat, your lordship may
rise." My Lady Townshend has picked up a little stable-boy in
the Tower, which the warders have put upon her for a natural
son of Lord Kilmarnock's, and taken him into her own house.
You need not tell Mr. T. this from me.
We have had a great and fine day in the House on the second
reading the bill for taking away the heritable Jurisdictions
in Scotland. Lyttelton made the finest oration imaginable;
the Solicitor General, the new Advocate,(1361) and Hume
Campbell, particularly the last. spoke excessively well for
it, and Oswald against it. The majority was 233 against 102.
Pitt was not there; the Duchess of Queensberry had ordered him
to have the gout.
I will give you a commission once more, to tell Lord
Bury(1362) that he has quite dropped me: if I thought he would
take me up again, I would write to him; a message would
encourage me. Adieu!
(1359) The battle of Culloden.
(1360) Alluding to a trick of the Duke of Newcastle's.
(1361) William Grant, Lord Advocate of Scotland.
(1362) George Keppel, eldest son of William, Earl of
Albemarle, whom he succeeded in the title in 1755. He was
now, together with Mr. Conway, aide-de-camp to the Duke of
526 Letter 233
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, May 5, 1747.
It is impossible for me to tell you more of the new
Stadtholder(1363) than you must have heard from all quarters.
Hitherto his existence has been of no service to his country.
Hulst, which we had heard was relieved, has surrendered. The
Duke was in it privately, just before it was taken, with only
two aide-de-camps, and has found means to withdraw our three
regiments. We begin to own now that the French are superior:
I never believed they were not, or that we had taken the field
before them; for the moment we had taken it, we heard of
Marshal Saxe having detached fifteen thousand men to form
sieges. There is a print published in Holland of the Devil
weighing the Count de Saxe and Count lowendahl in a pair of
scales, with this inscription:
Tous deux vaillants,
Tous deux galants,
Tous deux constants,
Tous deux galiards,
Tous deux paliards,
Tous deux b`atards,(1364)
Tous deux sans foi.
Tous deux sans loi.
Tous deux `a moi.
We are taken up with the Scotch bills for weakening clanships
and taking away heritable Jurisdictions. I have left them
sitting on it to-day, but was pleased with a period of Nugent.
"These jurisdictions are grievous, but nobody complains of
them; therefore, what? therefore, they are excessively
grievous." We had a good-natured bill moved to-day by Sir
William Yonge, to allow council to prisoners on impeachments
for treason, as they have on indictments. It hurt every body
at old Lovat's trial, all guilty as he was, to see an old
wretch worried by the first lawyers in England, without any
assistance but his own unpractised defence. It had not the
least opposition; yet this was a point struggled for in King
William's reign, as a privilege and dignity inherent in the
Commons, that the accused by them should have no assistance of
council. how reasonable, that men, chosen by their
fellow-subjects for the defence of their fellow-subjects,
should have rights detrimental to the good of the people whom
they are to protect! Thank God! we are a better-natured age,
and have relinquished this savage privilege with a good grace!
Lord Cowper(1365) has resigned the bedchamber, on the
Beef-eaters being given to Lord Falmouth. The latter, who is
powerful in elections, insisted on having it: the other had
nothing but a promise from the King, which the ministry had
already twice forced him to break.
Mr. Fox gave a great ball last week at Holland House. which he
has taken for a long term, and where he is making great
improvements. It is a brave old house, and belonged to the
gallant Earl of Holland, the lover of Charles the First's
Queen. His motto has puzzled every body; it is Ditior est qui
se. I was allowed to hit off an interpretation, which yet one
can hardly reconcile to his gallantry, nor can I decently
repeat it to you. While I am writing, the Prince is going
over the way to Lord Middlesex's, where there is a ball in
mask to-night for the royal children.
The two Lords have seen and refused Marquis Riccardi's gems: I
shall deliver them to Pucci; but am so simple (you will laugh
at me) as to keep the four I liked: that is, I will submit to
give him fifty pounds for them, if he will let me choose one
ring more; for I will at least have it to call them at ten
guineas apiece. If he consents, I will remit the money to
you, or pay it to Pucei, as he likes. If not, I return them
with the rest of the car,,o. I can choose no ring for which I
would give five guineas.
I have received yours of April 25th, since I came home. You
will scold me for being so careless about the Pretender's son;
but I am determined not to take up his idea again, till he is
at least on this side Derby. Do excuse me; but when he could
not get to London, with all the advantages which the ministry
had smoothed for him, how can he ever meet more concurring
circumstances? If my lady'S(1366) return has no better
foundation than Niccolini's authority, I assure you you may
believe as little of it as you please. If he knows no more of
her, than he does of every thing else that he pretends to
know, as I am persuaded he does not, knowledge cannot possibly
be thinner spread. He has been a progress to add more matter
to the mass, that he already don't understand. Adieu!
(1363) The Prince of Orange had just been raised to that
dignity in a tumultuary manner.
(1364) The Count de Saxe was a natural son of Augustus the
Second, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, and of the
Countess Konigsmark. The Count de LOWendahl was not a
"b`atard" himself; but his father, Woldemar, Baron of
Lowendahl, was the son of the Count of Gildoniew, who was the
natural son of Frederick the Third, King of Denmark.-D.
(1365) William, second Earl Cowper, son of the Chancellor. He
died in 1764.-D.
(1366) Lady Orford.-D.
527 Letter 234
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, May 19th, 1747,
As you will receive the Gazette at the same time with this
letter, I shall leave you to that for the particulars of the
great naval victory that Anson has gained over the French off
Cape Finisterre.(1367) It is a very big event, and by far one
of the most considerable that has happened during this war.
By it he has defeated two expeditions at once; for the fleet
he has demolished was to have split, part for the recovery of
Cape Breton, part for the East Indies. He has always been
most remarkably fortunate: Captain Granville, the youngest of
the brothers, was as unlucky: he was killed by the cannon that
was fired as a signal for their striking.(1368) He is
extremely commended: I am not partial to the family; but it is
but justice to mention, that when he took a great prize some
time ago, after a thousand actions of generosity to his
officers and crew, he cleared sixteen thousand pounds, of
which he gave his sister ten. The King is in great spirits.
The French fought exceedingly well.
I have no other event to tell you, but the promotion of a new
brother of yours. I condole with you, for they have literally
sent one Dayrolies(1369) resident to Holland, under Lord
--Minum partes tractare secundas.
This curious minister has always been a led-captain to the
Dukes of Grafton and Richmond; used to be sent to auctions for
them, and to walk in the Park with their daughters, and once
went dry nurse to Holland with them. He has belonged, too, a
good deal to my Lord Chesterfield, to whom, I believe, he owes
this new honour; as he had before made him black-rod in
Ireland, and gave the ingenious reason, that he had a black
face. I believe he has made him a minister, as one year, at
Tunbridge, he had a mind to make a wit of Jacky Barnard, and
had the impertinent vanity to imagine that his authority was
Your brother has gone over the way with Mr. Whithed, to choose
some of Lord Cholmondeley's pictures for his debt; they are
all given up to the creditors, who yet scarce receive forty
per cent. of their money.
It is wrong to send so short a letter as this so far, I know;
but what can one do? After the first fine shower, I will send
you a much longer. Adieu!
(1367) Upon this occasion Admiral Anson took six French men-of
war and four of their East Indiamen, and sunk or destroyed the
rest of their fleet.-D.
(1368) Thomas Grenville, youngest brother of Richard, Earl
Temple. As soon as he was struck by the cannon-ball, he
exclaimed, gallantly, "well! it is better to die thus, than to
be tried by a court-martial!" [His uncle Lord Cobham, erected
a column to his memory in the gardens at Stowe.]
(1369) ,,b Solomon Dayrolles, Esq. There are many letters
addressed to him in Lord Chesterfield's Miscellaneous
528 Letter 235
To Sir Horace Mann
Arlington Street, June 5, 1747.
Don't be more frightened at hearing the Parliament is to be
dissolved in a fortnight, than you are obliged to be as a good
minister. Since this Parliament has not brought over the
Pretender, I trust the death of it will not. You will want to
know the reason of this sudden step: several are given, as the
impossibility of making either peace or war, till they are
secure of a new majority; but I believe the true motive is to
disappoint the Prince, who was not ready with his elections.
In general, people seem to like the measure, except the
Speaker, who is very pompous about it, and speaks
constitutional paragraphs. There are rumours of changes to
attend its exit. People imagine Lord Chesterfield(1370) is to
quit, but I know no other grounds for this belief, than that
they conclude the Duke of Newcastle must be jealous of him by
this time. Lord Sandwich is looked upon as his successor,
Whenever it shall happen. He is now here, to look after his
Huntingdonshire boroughs. We talk nothing but
elections-however, it is better than talking them for a year
together. Mine for Callington (for I would not come in for
Lynn, which I have left to Prince Pigwiggin(1371)) is so easy,
that I shall have no trouble, not even the dignity of being
carried in triumph, like the lost sheep, on a porter's
shoulders but may retire to a little new farm that I have
taken just out of Twickenham. The house is so small, that I
can send it you in a letter to look at: the prospect is as
delightful as possible, commanding the river, the town, and
Richmond Park; and being situated on a hill descends to the
Thames through two or three little meadows, where I have some
Turkish sheep and two cows, all studied in their colours for
becoming the view. This little rural bijou was Mrs.
Chenevix's, the toy-woman `a la mode, who in every dry season
is to furnish me with the best rain-water from Paris, and now
and then with some Dresden-china cows, who are to figure like
wooden classics in a library: so I shall grow as much a
shepherd as any swain in the Astrea.
Admiral Anson(1372) is made a baron, and Admiral Warren(1373)
Knight of the Bath-so is Niccolini to be-when the King
dies.(1374) His Majesty and his son were last night at the
masquerade at Ranelagh, where there was so little company,
that I was afraid they would be forced to walk about together.
I have been desired to write to you for two scagliola tables;
will you get them? I will thank you, an pay you too.
You will hardly believe that I intend to send you this for a
letter, but I do. Mr. Chute said he would write to you
to-day, so mine goes as page to his. Adieu!
(1370) He was now secretary of state, which office he did not
resign till Feb. 1748.-D.
(1371) Eldest son of Horatio, brother of Sir Robert Walpole.
(1372) George Anson, created Lord Anson of Soberton. He is
well known for his voyages round the world, as well as for his
naval successes. He was long first lord of the admiralty; but
did not distinguish himself as a statesman. He died suddenly,
while walking in his garden at Moor Park in Hertfordshire,
June 6th, 1762.-D.
(1373) Sir Peter Warren was the second in command in the
victory off Cape Finisterre.-D.
(1374) The Abb`e Niccolini was in much favour with the Prince
530 Letter 236
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Twickenham, June 8, 1747.
You perceive by my date that I am got into a new camp, and
have left my tub at Windsor. It is a little plaything-house
that I got out of Mrs. Chenevix's shop, and is the prettiest
bauble you ever saw. It is set in enamelled meadows, with
"A small Euphrates through the piece is roll'd,
And little finches wave their wings in gold"
Two delightful roads, that you would call dusty, supply me
continually with coaches and chaises; barges as solemn as
barons of the exchequer move under my window; Richmond Hill
and Ham Walks bound my prospect; but, thank God! the Thames is
between me and the Duchess of Queensberry. Dowagers (-As
plenty as flounders inhabit all around, and Pope's ghost is
just now skimming under my window by a most poetical
moonlight. I have about land enough to keep such a farm as
Noah's, when he set up in the ark with a pair of each kind;
but my cottage is rather cleaner than I believe his was after
they had been cooped up together forty days. The Chenevixes
had tricked it out for themselves: up two pair of stairs is
what they call Mr. Chenevix's library, furnished with three
maps, one shelf, a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and a lame
telescope without any glasses. Lord John Sackville
predeceased me here, and instituted certain games called
cricketalia, which have been celebrated this very evening in
honour of him in a neighbouring meadow.
You will think I have removed my philosophy from Windsor with
my tea-things hither; for I am writing to you in all this
tranquillity, while a Parliament is bursting about my ears.
You know it is going to be dissolved: I am told, you are taken
care of, though I don't know where, nor whether any body that
chooses you will quarrel with me because he does choose you,
as that little bug the Marquis of Rockingham did; one of the
calamities of my life which I have bore as abominably well as
I do most about which I don't care. They say the Prince has
taken up two hundred thousand pounds, to carry elections which
he won't carry:--he had much better have saved it to buy the
Parliament after it is chosen. A new set of peers are in
embryo, to add more dignity to the silence of the House of
I make no remarks on your campaign,(1375) because, as you say,
you do nothing at all; which, though very proper nutriment for
a thinking head, does not do quite so well to write upon. If
any one of you can but contrive to be shot upon your post, it
is all we desire, shall look upon it as a great curiosity, and
will take care to set up a monument to the person so slain; as
we are doing by vote to Captain Cornwall, who was killed at
the beginning Of the action in the Mediterranean four years
ago.(1376) In the present dearth of glory, he is canonized;
though, poor man! he had been tried twice the year before for
I could tell you much election news, none else; though not
being thoroughly attentive to so important a subject, as to be
sure one ought to be, I might now and then mistake, and give
you a candidate for Durham in place of one for Southampton, or
name the returning-officer instead of the candidate. In
general, I believe, it is much as usual-those sold in detail
that afterwards will be sold in the representation--the
ministers bribing Jacobites to choose friends of their own-
-the name of well-wishers to the present establishment, and
patriots outbidding ministers that they may make the better
market of their own patriotism:-in short, all England, under
some flame or other, is just now to be bought and sold;
though, whenever we become posterity and forefathers, we shall
be in high repute for wisdom and virtue. My
great-great-grandchildren will figure me with a white beard
down to my girdle; and Mr. Pitt's will believe him unspotted
enough to have walked over nine hundred hot ploughshares,
without hurting the sole of his foot. How merry my ghost will
be, and shake its ears to hear itself quoted as a person of
consummate prudence! Adieu, dear Harry! Yours ever.
(1375) Mr Conway was in Flanders with the Duke of Cumberland.
(1376) The House of Commons, on the 28th of May, had agreed to
erect a monument in Westminster Abbey to the memory of Captain
Cornwall, of the Marlborough; who was slain while bravely
defending his ship. The monument, designed and executed bye
Taylor, was completed in 1755. --E.
(1377) And honourably acquitted on both occasions.-E.
531 Letter 237
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, June 26, 1747.
You can have no idea of the emptiness of London, and of the
tumult every where else. To-day many elections begin. The
sums of money disbursed within this month would give any body
a very faint idea of the poverty of this undone country! I
think the expense and contest is greater now we are said to be
all of a mind, than when parties ran highest. Indeed, I
ascribe part of the solitude in town to privilege being at an
end; though many of us can afford to bribe so high, it is not
so easy to pay debts. Here am I, as Lord Cornbury(1378) says,
sitting for a borough, while every body else stands for one.
He diverted me extremely the other day with the application of
a story to the King's speech. It says, the reason for
dissolving the Parliament is its being so near
dissolution:(1379) Lord Cornbury said it put him in mind of a
gaoler in Oxfordshire who was remarkably humane to his
prisoners; one day he said to one of them, "My good friend,
you know you are to be hanged on Friday se'nnight; I want
extremely to go to London; would you be so kind as to be
hanged next Friday?"
Pigwiggin is come over, more Pigwiggin than ever! He
entertained me with the horrid ugly figures that he saw at the
Prince of Orange's court; think of his saying ugly figures!
He is to be chosen for Lynn,-whither I would not go, because I
must have gone; I go to Callington again, whither I don't go.
My brother chooses Lord luxborough(1380) for Castlerising.
Would you know the connexion? This Lord keeps Mrs. Horton the
player; we keep Miss Norsa the player: Rich the harlequin is
an intimate of all; and to cement the harlequinity, somebody's
brother (excuse me if I am not perfect in such genealogy) is
to marry the Jewess's sister. This coup de th`eatre procured
Knight his Irish coronet, and has now stuffed him into
Castlerising, about which my brother has quarrelled with me,
for not looking upon it, as, what he called, a family-borough.
Excuse this ridiculous detail; it serves to introduce the
account of the new peers, for Sir Jacob Bouverie, a
considerable Jacobite, who is made Viscount Folkestone, bought
his ermine at twelve thousand pound a-yard of the Duchess of
Kendal(1381) d'aujourd'hui. Sir Harry Liddel is Baron
Ravensworth, and Duncombe Baron Feversham; Archer and Rolle
have only changed their Mr.ships for Lordships. Lord
Middlesex has lost one of his Lordships, that of the Treasury;
is succeeded by the second Grenville, and he by Ellis,(1382)
at the admiralty. Lord Ashburnham had made a magnificent
summer suit to wait, but Lord Cowper at last does not resign
the bedchamber. I intend to laugh over this disgrazia with
the Chuteheds, when they return triumphant from Hampshire,
where Whitehed has no enemy. A-propos to enemies! I believe
the battle in Flanders is compromised, for one never hears of
The Duchess of Queensberry(1383) has at last been at court, a
point she has been intriguing these two years. Nobody gave in
to it. At last she snatched at the opportunity of her son
being obliged to the King for a regiment in the Dutch service,
and would not let him go to thank, till they sent for her too.
Niccolini, who is next to her in absurdity and importance, is
gone electioneering with Doddington.
I expect Pucci every day to finish my trouble with Riccardi; I
shall take any ring, though he has taken care I shall not take
another tolerable one. If you will pay him, which I fancy
will be the shortest way to prevent any fripponnerie, I will
put the money into your brother's hands.
My eagle(1384) is arrived-my eagle tout court, for I hear
nothing of the pedestal: the bird itself was sent home in a
store-ship; I was happy that they did not reserve the statue,
and send its footstool. It is a glorious fowl! I admire it,
and every body admires it as much as it deserves. There never
was so much spirit and fire preserved, with so much labour and
finishing. It stands fronting the Vespasian: there are no two
such morsels in England!
Have you a mind for an example of English bizarrerie? there
is a Fleming here, who carves exquisitely in ivory, one
Verskovis; he has done much for me, and where I have
recommended him; but he is starving, and returning to Rome, to
carve for-the English, for whom, when he was there before, he
could not work fast enough.(1385)
I know nothing, nor ever heard of the Mills's and Davisons;
and know less than nothing Of whether they are employed from
hence. There is nobody in town of whom to inquire; if there
were, they would ask me for what borough these men were to
stand, and wonder that I could name people from any other
(1378) Henry Hyde, only son of the last Earl of Clarendon. He
died before his father.
(1379) King's words are, "As this Parliament would necessarily
determine in a short time, I have judged it expedient speedily
to call a new one."-E.
(1380) Robert Knight, eldest son of the famous cashier of the
South Sea Company. (Created Lord Luxborough in Ireland 1746,
and Earl of Catherlough in 1763. He died in 1772.-D.)
(1381) Lady Yarmouth, the mistress of George II.-D.
(1382) Right Honourable Welbore Ellis.-D.
(1383) She had quarrelled with the court, in consequence of
the refusal to permit Gray's sequel to the Beggar's Opera,
called "Polly," to be acted.-D.
(1384) The eagle found in the gardens of Boccapadugli within
the precincts of Caracalla's baths, at Rome, in the year 1742;
one of the finest pieces of Greek sculpture in the world. See
Walpole's Works, vol. ii. p. 463, and Gray's Ode on the
Progress of Poesy.-E.
(1385) Verskovis is also mentioned by Walpole in his Anecdotes of
Painting. he had a son, who to the art of carving in ivory,
added painting, but died young, in 1749, before his father.
The latter did not survive above a year.-E.
533 Letter 238
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, July 2, 1747.
Though we have no great reason to triumph, as we have
certainly been defeated,(1386) yet the French have as
certainly bought their victory dear: indeed, what would be
very dear to us, is not so much to them. However, their least
loss is twelve thousand men; as our least loss is five
thousand. The truth of the whole is, that the Duke was
determined to fight at all events, which the French, who
determined not to fight but at great odds, took advantage of.
His Royal Highness's valour has shone extremely, but at the
expense of his judgment. Harry Conway, whom nature always
designed for a hero of romance, and who is d`eplac`e in
ordinary life, did wonders; but was overpowered and flung
down, when one French hussar held him by the hair, while
another was going to stab him: at that instant, an English
sergeant with a soldier came up, and killed the latter; but
was instantly killed himself; the soldier attacked the other,
and Mr. Conway escaped; but was afterwards taken prisoner; is
since released on parole, and may come home to console his
fair widow,,(1387) whose brother, Harry Campbell, is certainly
killed, to the great concern of all widows who want
consolation. The French have lost the Prince of Monaco, the
Comte de Bavi`ere, natural brother to the last Emperor, and
many officers of great rank. The French King saw the whole
through a spying-glass, from Hampstead Hill, environed with
twenty thousand men.' Our Guards did shamefully, and many
officers. The King had a line from Huske in Zealand on the
Friday night, to tell him we were defeated; of his son not a
word - judge of his anxiety till three o'clock on Saturday!
Lord Sandwich had a letter in his pocket all the while, and
kept it there, which said the Duke was well.
We flourish at sea, have taken great part of the Domingo
fleet, and I suppose shall have more lords. The Countess
touched twelve thousand for Sir Jacob Bouverie's coronet.
I know nothing of my own election, but suppose it is over; as
little of Rigby's, and conclude it lost. For franks, I
suppose they don't begin till the whole is complete. My
compliments to your brothers and sisters.
(1386) The Battle of Laffelt, in which the Duke of Cumberland
(1387) Caroline, widow of the Earl of Ailesbury, sister of
Henry Campbell, here mentioned, and of John, Duke of
(1388) The King of France' in allusion to the engagement,
is said to have observed, that "the British not only paid all,
but fought all." In his letter to the Queen, he also
characterized the Austrians as "benevolent" spectators of the
battle. See M`emoires de Richelieu, t. vii. P. 111.-E.
534 Letter 239
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 3, 1747.
You would think it strange not to hear from me after a battle
though the printed relation is so particular, that I could
only repeat what that contains. The sum total is, that we
would fight. which the French did not intend; we gave them, or
did not take, the advantage of situation; they attacked: what
part of our army was engaged did wonders, for the Dutch ran
away, and we had contrived to post the Austrians in such a
manner, that they could not assist us:(1388) we were
overpowered by numbers, though the centre was first broke by
the retreating Dutch; and though we retired, we killed twelve
thousand of the enemy, and lost six ourselves. The Duke was
very near taken, having through his short sight, mistaken a
body of French for his own people. He behaved as bravely as
usual; but his prowess is so well established, that it grows
time for him to exert other qualities of a general.
We shine at sea; two-and-forty sail of the Domingo fleet have
fallen into our hands, and we expect more. The ministry are
as successful in their elections: both Westminster and
Middlesex have elected court candidates, and the city of
London is taking the same step, the first time of many years
that the two latter have been Whig; but the non-subscribing at
the time of the rebellion, has been most successfully played
off upon the Jacobites; of which stamp great part of England
was till-the Pretender came. This would seem a paradox in any
other country, but contradictions are here the only rule of
(1389) The Duke of Cumberland, in a letter to Lord
Chesterfield of the 3d of July, says, "The great misfortune of
our position was that our right wing was so strongly posted,
that they could neither be attacked nor make a diversion; for
I am assured that Marshal Bathiani would have done all in his
power to sustain me, or attack the enemy."-E.
535 Letter 240
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 28, 1747.
This is merely one of my letters of course, for I have nothing
to tell you. You will hear that Bergen-op-zoom still holds
out, and is the first place that has not said yes, the moment
the French asked it the question. The Prince of Waldeck has
resigned, on some private disgust with the Duke. Mr. Chute
received a letter from you yesterday, with the account of the
deliverance of Genoa, which had reached us before, and had
surprised nobody. But when you wrote, you did not know of the
great victory obtained by eleven battalions of PiedmOntese
over six-and-forty of the French, and of the lucky but brave
death of their commander, the Chevalier de Belleisle. He is a
great loss to the French, none to Count Saxe; an irreparable
one to his own brother. whom, by the force of his parts, he
had pushed so high, at the same time always declining to raise
himself, lest he should eclipse the Marshal, who seems now to
have missed the ministry by his Italian scheme, as he did
before by his ill success in Germany. We talk of nothing but
peace: I hope we shall not make as bad an one as we have made
a war, though one is the natural consequence of the other.
We have at last discovered the pedestal for my glorious eagle,
at the bottom of the store-ship; but I shall not have it out
of the Custom-house till the end of this week. The lower part
of the eagle's beak(1390) has been broke off and lost. I wish
you would have the head only of your Gesse cast, and send it
me, to have the original restored from it.
The commission for the scagliola tables was given me without
any dimensions; I suppose there is a common size. If the
original friar(1391) can make them, I shall be glad: if not, I
fancy the person would not care to wait so long as you
mention, for what would be less handsome than mine.
I am almost ashamed to send you this summer letter; but nobody
is in town; even election news are all over. Adieu!'
(1390) "Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye," Gray.-E.
(1391) Scagliola is a composition, which was made only at
Florence by Father Hugford, an Irish friar.
536 Letter 241
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Sept. 1, 1747.
Your two last are of August 1st and 22d. I fear my last to
you was of July 28th. I have no excuse, but having nothing to
tell you, and having been in the country. Bergen-op-zoom
still holds out; the French having lost great numbers before
it, though at first, at least, it was not at all
well-defended. Nothing else is talked of, and opinions differ
so much about the event, that I don't pretend to guess what it
will be. It appears now that if the Dutch had made but decent
defences of all the other towns, France would have made but
slow progress in the conquest of Flanders, and Wanted many
thousand men that now threaten Europe.
There are not ten people in London besides the Chuteheds and
me; the White one is going into Hampshire; I hope to have the
other a little with me at Twickenham, whither I go to-morrow
for the rest of the season.
I don't know what to say to you about Mr. Mill; I can learn
nothing about him: my connexions with any thing ministerial
are little as possible; and were they bigger, the very
commission, that you apprehend, would be a reason to' make
them keep it secret from you, on whose account alone, they
would know I inquired. I cannot bring myself to believe that
he is employed from hence; and I am always so cautious of
meddling about you, for fear of risking you in any light, that
I am the unfittest person in the world to give you any
satisfaction on this head: however, I shall continue to try.
I never heard any thing so unreasonable as the Pope's request
to that Cardinal Guadagni;(1392) but I suppose they will make
You will, I think, like Sir James Grey; he is very civil and
good-humoured, and sensible. Lord _(1393) is the two former;
but, alas he is returned little wiser than he went.
Is there a bill of exchange sent to your brother? or may not I
pay him without? it is fifty pounds and three zechins, is it
not? Thank you.
Pandolfini is gone with Count Harrache; Panciatici goes next
week: I believe he intended staying longer; but either the
finances fail, or he does not know how to dispose of these two
empty months alone; for Niccolini is gone with the Prince to
Cliefden. I have a notion the latter would never leave
England, if he could but bring himself to change his religion;
or, which he would like as well, if he could persuade the
Prince to change his. Good night!
(1392) This relates to a request made by the Pope to Cardinal
Guadagni, to resign a piece of preferment which he was in
(1393) So in the MS.-D.
537 Letter 242
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Oct. 1, 1747.
I wish I could have answered your invitation from the
Tigress's with my own person, but it was impossible. I wish
your farmer would answer invitations with the persons of more
hens and fewer cocks; for I am raising a breed, and not
recruits. The time before he sent two to one, and he has done
so again. I had a letter from Mr. Conway, who is piteously
going into prison again, our great secretary has let the time
Slip for executing the cartel, and the French have reclaimed
their prisoners. The Duke is coming back. I fear his candles
are gone to bed to Admiral Vernon's! He has been ill; they
say his head has been more affected than his body. Marshal
Saxe sent him Cardinal Polignac's Anti-Lucretius(1393) to send
to Lord Chesterfield. If he won't let him be a general, at
least 'tis hard to reduce him to a courier.
When I saw you at Kyk in de Pot, I forgot to tell you that
seven more volumes of the Journals are delivering: there's
employment for Moreland. I go back to Kyk in de Pot tomorrow.
Did you dislike it so much that you could not bring yourself
to persuade your brother to try it with you for a day or two!
I shall be there till the birthday, if you will come.
George Selwyn says, people send to Lord Pembroke to know how
the bridge rested. You know George never thinks but `a la
t`ete tranch`ee: he came to town t'other day to have a tooth
drawn, and told the man that he would drop his handkerchief
for the signal. My compliments to your family.
(1393) In 1757, Anti-Lucretius was rendered into English by
Dobson; for whose translation of Paradise Lost into Latin
verse, Auditor Benson, who erected a monument to Milton in
Westminster Abbey, gave him one thousand pounds. In 1767, a
translation of the first book of the Cardinal's poem was
published by the father of the Right Honourable George
537 Letter 243
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Oct. 2, 1747.
I am glad the Chuteheds are as idle as I am for then you will
believe it is nothing but idleness. I don't know that it is
absolutely so; I rather flatter myself that it is want of
materials that has made me silent, I fear, above these five
weeks. Literally nothing has happened but the treachery at
Bergen-Op-zoom,(1394) and of that all the world knows at least
as much as I do. The Duke is coming home, and both armies are
going into quarters, at least for the present: the French, I
suppose, will be in motion again with the first frosts.
Holland seems gone!-How long England will remain after it,
Providence and the French must determine! This is too ample a
subject to write but little upon, and too obvious to require
The Chuteheds have been extremely good, and visited and stayed
with me at Twickenham-I am sorry I must, at your expense, be
happy. If I were to say all I think of Mr. Chute's immense
honesty, his sense, his wit, his knowledge, and his humanity,
you would think I was writing a dedication. I am happy in
him: I don't make up to him for you, for he loves nothing a
quarter so well; but I try to make him regret you less-do you
forgive me? Now I am commending your friends, I reproach
myself with never having told you how much I love your brother
Gal.(1395) you yourself have not more constant
good-humour-indeed he has not such trials with illness as you
have, you patient soul! but he is like you, and much to my
fancy. Now I live a good deal at Twickenham, I see more of
him, and like to see more of him: you know I don't throw my
liking about the street.
Your Opera must be fine, and that at Naples glorious: they say
we are to have one, but I doubt it. Lady Middlesex is
breeding-the child will be well-born; the Sackville is the
worst blood it is supposed to swell with. Lord Holderness has
lost his son. Lady Charlotte Finch, when she saw company on
her lying-in, had two toilets spread in her bedchamber with
her own and Mr. Finch's dressing plate. This was certainly a
stroke of vulgarity, that my Lady Pomfret copied from some
festino in Italy.
Lord Bath and his Countess and his son(1396) have been making
a tour: at Lord Leicester's(1397) they forgot to give any
thing to the servants that showed the house; upon
recollection-and deliberation, they sent back a man and horse
six miles with-half a crown! What loads of money they are
saving for the French!
Adieu! my dear child-perhaps you don't know that I , "cast
many a Southern look"(1398) towards Florence-I think within
this half-year I have thought more of making you a visit, than
in any half-year since I left you. I don't know whether the
difficulties will ever be surmounted, but you cannot imagine
how few they are: I scarce think they are in the plural
(1394) In the letter to Sir Thomas Robinson of the 7th of
November, Sir Everard Fawkener says, "The capture of
Bergen-op-zoom is a subject to make one mad, if any thing had
been done; but the ordinary forms of duty, which never fail in
times of the greatest security, were now, in this critical
time, neglected in the most scandalous manner." Hence it was
surmised that the place was surrendered through treachery.
See Coxe's Pelham, vol. i. p. 361.-E.
(1395) Galfridus Mann, twin-brother of Horace Mann.
(1396) William, Viscount Pulteney, only son of Lord Bath. He
died in his father's lifetime.-D.
(1398) Shakspeare, Henry IV.-,, "Cast many a northern look to
see his father bring up his powers."
539 Letter 244
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 10, 1747.
I came to town but last week; but on looking over the dates of
my letters, I find I am six weeks in arrear to you. This is a
period that ought to make me blush, and beyond what I think I
was ever guilty - but I have not a tittle to tell you; that
is, nothing little enough has happened, nor big enough, except
Admiral Hawke's(1399) great victory and for that I must have
transcribed the gazettes.
The Parliament met this morning, the House extremely full, and
many new faces. We have done nothing, but choose a Speaker,
and, in choosing him, flattered Mr. Onslow, who is rechosen.
In about ten days one shall be able to judge of the complexion
of the winter; but there is not likely to be much opposition.
The Duke was Coming, but is gone back to Breda for a few days.
When he does return, it will be only for three weeks. He is
to watch the French and the negotiations for peace, which are
to be opened-I believe not in earnest.
Whithed has made his entrance into Parliament; I don't expect
he will like it. The first session is very tiresome with
elections, and without opposition there will be little spirit.
Lady Middlesex has popped out her child before its time; it is
put into spirits, and my Lord very loyally, cries over it.
Lady Gower carried a niece to Leicester-fields(1400) the other
day, to present her; the girl trembled-she pushed her: "What
are you so afraid of? Don't you see that musical clock? Can
you be afraid of a man that has a musical clock?"
Don't call this a letter; I don't call it one; it only comes
to make my letter's excuses. Adieu!
(1399) Admiral Edward Hawke, afterwards created Lord Hawke,
for his eminent naval services. On the ]5th July 1747, he met
a large fleet of French merchant-vessels going from the ports
of France to the West Indies. and guarded by a strong force of
ships of war. He completely routed them, and took six ships
of war. -It was in his despatch to the Admiralty on this
occasion, that he made use of the Following remarkable
expression: "As the enemy's ships were large, they took a
great deal of drubbing."-D.
(1400) Where the Prince of Wales held his court. Lady Gower
was Mary Tufton, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Thanet, and widow
of Anthony Gray, Earl of Harold, who became, in 1736, third
wife of John, second Lord Gower.-D.
539 Letter 245
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 24, 1747.
You say so many kind things to me in your letter of Nov. 7th,
on my talking of a journey to Florence, that I am sorry I
mentioned it to you. I did it to show you that my silence is
far from proceeding from any forgetfulness of you; and as I
really think continually of such a journey, I name it now and
then; though I don't find how to accomplish it. In short, my
affairs are not so independent of every body, but that they
require my attending to them to make them go smoothly; and
unless I could get them into another situation, it is not
possible for me to leave them. Some part of my fortune is in
my Lord O.'s(1401) hands; and if I were out of the way of
giving him trouble, he has not generosity enough to do any
thing that would be convenient for me. I will say no more on
this subject, because it is not a pleasant one; nor would I
have said this, but to convince you that I did not mention
returning to Florence out of gaiet`e de coeur. I never was
happy but there; have a million of times repented returning to
England, where I never was happy, nor expect to be.
For Mr. Chute's silence, next to myself, I can answer for him:
He always loves you, and I am persuaded wishes nothing more
than himself at Florence. I did hint to him your kind thought
about Venice, because, as I saw no daylight to it, it could
not disappoint him; and because I knew how sensible he would
be to this mark of your friendship. There is not a glimmering
prospect of our sending a minister to Berlin; if we did, it
would be a person of far greater consideration than Sir James
Grey; and even if he went thither, there are no means of
procuring his succession for Mr. Chute. My dear child, you
know little of England, if you think such and so quiet merit
as his likely to meet friends here. Great assurance, or great
quality, are the only recommendations. My father was abused
for employing low people with parts-that complaint is totally
You reproach me with telling you nothing of Bergen-op-zoom;
seriously, I know nothing but what was in the papers; and in
general, on those great public events, I must transcribe the
gazette, if you will have me talk to you. You will have seen
by the King's speech that a congress is appointed at
Aix-la-Chapelle, but nobody expects any effect from it.
Except Mr. Pelham, the ministry in general are for the war;
and, what is comical, the Prince and the Opposition are so
too. We have had but one division yet in the House, which was
on the Duke of Newcastle's interfering in the Seaford
election. The numbers were, 247 for the court, against 96.
But I think it very probable that, in a little time, a
stronger opposition will be formed, for the Prince has got
some new and very able speakers; particularly a young Mr.
Potter,(1402) son of the last Archbishop, who promises very
greatly; the world is already matching him against Mr. Pitt.
I sent Niccolini the letter; and here is another from him. I
have not seen him this winter, nor heard of him: he is of very
little consequence, when there is any thing else that is.
I have lately had Lady Mary Wortley's Eclogues(1403)
published; but they don't please, though so excessively good.
I say so confidently, for Mr. Chute agrees with me: he says,
for the epistle to Arthur Gray,(1404) scarce any woman could
have written it, and no man; for a man who had had experience
enough to paint such sentiments so well, would not have had
warmth enough left. Do you know any thing of Lady Mary? her
adventurer son(1405) is come into Parliament, but has not
opened. Adieu! my dear child: nous nous reverrons un jour!
(1401) Lord Orford, the eldest brother of Horace Walpole.-D.
(1402) Thomas, second son of Dr. Potter, Archbishop of
Canterbury, was appointed secretary to the Princess of Wales,
in which post he remained till the death of the Prince: he
made two celebrated speeches on the Seaford election, and on
the contest between Aylesbury and Buckingham for the summer
assizes; but did not long support the character here given of
him. [In 1757, he was made joint vice-treasurer of Ireland,
and died in June 1759. Several letters, addressed by him to
Mr. Pitt, will be found in the first volume of the Chatham
(1403) Some of those Eclogues had been printed long before:
they were now published, with other of her poems, by Dodsley,
in quarto, and soon after, with others, reprinted in his
Miscellany. [They will be found in Lord Wharncliffe's edition
of Lady Mary's Works, vol. iii. p. 350.]
(1404) The epistle was from Arthur Grey, the footman, and
addressed to Mrs. Murray, after his condemnation for
attempting to commit violence. The man was tried for the
offence in 1721, and transported. See Works, vol. i. p. 71,
and vol. iii. p. 402, where the epistle is printed.-E.
(1405) Edward Wortley Montagu, after a variety of adventures
in various characters, was taken up -,it Paris with Mr.
Teaffe, another member of Parliament, and imprisoned in Fort
L`eveque, for cheating and robbing a Jew. (Mr. Montagu was
confined in the Grand Chatelet from the 31st of October till
the 2nd of November. For his own account of the affair, see
Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. iv. p. 629.]
541 Letter 246
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 12, 1748.
I have just received a letter from you of the 19th of last
month, in which you tell me you was just going to complain of
me, when you received one from me: I fear I am again as much
to blame, as far as not having written; but if I had, it would
only be to repeat what you say would be sufficient, but what I
flatter myself I need not repeat. The town has been quite
empty; and the Parliament which met but yesterday, has been
adjourned these three weeks. Except elections, and such
tiresome squabbles, I don't believe it will produce any thing:
it is all harmony. From Holland we every day hear bad news,
which, though we don't believe-at the present, we agree it is
always likely to be true by tomorrow. Yet, with no prospect
of success, and scarce with a possibility of beginning another
campaign, we are as martial as ever: I don't know whether it
is, because we think a bad peace worse than a bad war, or that
we don't look upon misfortunes and defeats abroad as enough
our own, and are willing to taste of both at home. We are in
no present apprehension from domestic disturbances, nor, in my
private opinion, do I believe the French will attempt us, till
it is for themselves. They need not be at the trouble of
sending us Stuarts; that ingenious house could not have done
the work of France more effectually than the Pelhams and the
I will tell you a secret: there is a transaction going on to
send Sir Charles Williams to Turin; he has asked it. and it is
pushed. In my private opinion, I don't believe
Villettes(1406) will be easily overpowered; though I wish it,
from loving Sir Charles and from thinking meanly of the other;
but talents are no passports. Sir Everard Falkener(1407) is
going to Berlin. General Sinclair is presently to succeed
Wentworth: he is Scotchissime, in all the latitude of the
word, and not very able; he made a poor business of it at Port
Lord Coke(1408) has demolished himself very fast: I mean his
character: you know he was married but last spring; he is
always drunk, has lost immense sums at play, and seldom goes
home to his wife till early in the morning. The world is
vehement on her side; and not only her family, but his own,
give him up. At present, matters are patching up by the
mediation of my brother, but I think can never go on: she
married him extremely against her will, and he is at least an
out-pensioner of Bedlam: his mother's family have many of them
I thank you, I have received the eagle's head: the bill is
broken off individually in the same spot with the original;
but, as the piece is not lost, I believe it will serve.
I should never have expected you to turn Lorrain:(1409) is
your Madame de Givrecourt a successor(1410) of my sister? I
think you hint so. Where is the Princess, that you are so
reduced? Adieu! my dear child. I don't say a kind word to
you, because you seem to think it necessary, for assuring you
of the impossibility of my ever forgetting, or loving you
(1406) Minister at Turin, and afterwards in Switzerland.
(1407) He had been ambassador at Constantinople: he was not
sent to Berlin, but was secretary to the Duke, and one of the
(1408) Edward, only son of Thomas, Earl of Leicester, married
Mary, youngest daughter of John, Duke of Argyll, from whom he
was parted. He died in 1752.
(1409) The Emperor kept a Lorrain regiment at Florence; but
there was little intercourse between the two nations.
(1410) With Count Richcourt.
542 Letter 247
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 26, 1748.
I have again talked over with our Chute the affair of Venice;
besides seeing no practicability in it, we think you will not
believe that Sir James Grey will be so simple as to leave
Venice, whither with difficulty he obtained to be sent, when
you hear that Mr. Legge(1411) has actually kissed hands, and
sets out on Friday for 'Berlin, as envoy extraordinary and
plenipotentiary. We thought Sir Everard Falkener Sure; but
this has come forth very unexpectedly. Legge is certainly a
wiser choice'-, nobody has better parts; and if art and
industry can obtain success, I know no one would use more: but
I don't think that the King of Prussia,' with half parts and
much cunning, is so likely to be the dupe of more parts and as
much cunning-, as the people with whom Legge has so
prosperously pushed his fortune. My father was fond of him to
the greatest degree of partiality, till he endeavoured to have
a nearer tie than flattery gave him, by trying to marry Lady
Mary: after that my lord could never bear his name. Since
that. he has wiggled himself in with the Pelhams, by being the
warmest friend and servant of their new allies, and is the
first favourite of the little Duke of Bedford. Mr.
Villiers(1412) was desired to go to Berlin, but refused and
proposed himself for the treasury, till they could find
something else for him. They laughed at this; but he is as
fit for one employment as the other. We have a stronger
reason than any I have mentioned against going to Venice;
which is, the excuse it might give to the Vine,(1413) to
forget we were in being; an excuse which his hatred of our
preferment would easily make him embrace, as more becoming a
good Christian brother!
The ministry are triumphant in their Parliament: there have
been great debates on the new taxes, but no division: the
House is now sitting on the Wareham election, espousing George
Pitt's uncle,(1414 one of the most active Jacobites, but of
the coalition and in place, against Drax,(1415) a great
favourite of the Prince, but who has already lost one question
on this election by a hundred.
Admiral Vernon has just published a series of letters to
himself(1416) among which are several of Lord Bath, written in
the height of his opposition: there is one in particular, to
congratulate Vernon on taking Portobello, wherein this great
Virtuous patriot advises him to do nothing more,(1417)
assuring him that his inactivity would all be imputed to my
father. One does not hear that Lord Bath has called him to
any account for this publication, though as villainous to
these correspondents as one of them was in writing such a
letter; or as the Admiral himself was, who used to betray all
his instructions to this enemy of the government. Nobody can
tell why he has published these letters now, unless to get
money. What ample revenge every year gives my father against
his patriot enemies! Had he never deserved well
himself',posterity must still have the greatest opinion of
him, when they see on what rascal foundations were built all
the pretences to virtue which were set up in opposition to
him! Pultney counselling the Admiral who was entrusted with
the war not to pursue it, that its mismanagement might be
imputed to the minister; the Admiral communicating his orders
to such an enemy of his country! This enemy triumphant,
seizing honours and employments for himself and friends, which
he had @ avowedly disclaimed; other friends, whom he had
neglected, pursuing him for gratifying his
ambition-accomplishing his ruin, and prostituting themselves
even more than he had done! all of them blowing up a
rebellion, by every art that could blacken the King in the
eyes of the nation, and some of them promoting the trials and
sitting in judgment on the wretches whom they had misled and
deserted! How black a picture! what odious portraits, when
time shall write the proper names under them!
As famous as you think your Mr. Mill, I can find nobody who
ever heard his name. Projectors make little noise here; and
even any one who only has made a noise, is forgotten as soon
as out of sight. The knaves and fools of the day are too
numerous to leave room to talk of yesterday. The pains that
people, who have a mind to be named, are forced to take to be
very particular, would convince you how difficult it is to
make a lasting impression on such a town as this. Ministers,
authors, wits, fools, patriots, prostitutes, scarce bear a
second edition. Lord Bolingbroke, Sarah Malcolm,(1418) and
old Marlborough. are never mentioned but by elderly folks to
their grandchildren, who had never heard of them. What would
last Pannoni's(1419) a twelvemonth is forgotten here ]it
twelve hours. Good night!
(1411) Henry fourth son of the Earl of Dartmouth, was made
secretary of the treasury by Sir Robert Walpole; and was
afterwards surveyor of the roads, a lord of the admiralty, a
lord of the treasury, treasurer of the navy, and chancellor of
the exchequer. He had been bred to the sea, and was for a
little time minister at Berlin. The Duke of Newcastle, in a
letter to Mr. Pitt, of the 18th of January, says, " I have
thought of a person, to whom the King has this day readily
agreed. It is Mr. Harry Legge. There, is capacity,
integrity, quality, rank and address." See Chatham
Correspondence, vol. i. p. 27.-E.
(1412) Coxe, in his Memoirs of lord Walpole, says, that Mr.
Legge, though a man of great talents for business, "was unfit
for a foreign mission, and of a character ill suited to the
temper of that powerful casuist, whose extraordinary dogmas
were supported by 140,000 of the most effectual but convincing
arguments in the world." Vol. ii. II. 304.-E.
(1413) Thomas Villiers, brother of the Earl of Jersey, had
been minister It Dresden, and was afterwards a lord of the
(1414) Anthony Chute, of the Vine, in Hampshire, elder brother
of J. Chute; died in 1754.
(1415) John Pitt, one of the lords of trade.
1416) Henry Drax, the Prince's secretary. He died in 1755.
(1417) The publication was entitled " Letters to an Honest
Sailor." Walpole's inference is not borne out by the letter
itself. Pulteney's words; are, "Pursue your stroke, but venture
not losing the honour of it by too much intrepidity. Should you
make no more progress than you have done, no one could blame
you but those persons only who ought to have sent some land-
forces with you, and did not. To their slackness it will be
very justly imputed by all mankind, should you make no further
progress till Lord Cathcart joins you."-E.
(1418) A washerwoman at the Temple, executed for three
murders. (She was executed in March 1733, opposite Mitre
Court, in Fleet Street. A portrait of her is given in the
Gentleman's Magazine for that year. So great was the public
expectation for her confession, that the manuscript of it was
sold for twenty pounds.-E.)
(1419) The coffee-house at Florence.
544 Letter 248
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Feb. 16, 1748.
I am going to tell you nothing but what Mr. Chute has told you
already,-that my Lord Chesterfield has resigned the seals,
that the Duke of Newcastle has change] his province, and that
the Duke of Bedford is the new secretary of state. I think
you need be under no apprehension from this change; I should
be frightened enough if you had the least reason, but I am
quite at ease. Lord Chesterfield, who I believe had no
quarrel but with his partner, is gone to Bath; and his
youngest brother, John Stanhope,(1420) comes into the
admiralty, where Sandwich is now first lord. There seems to
be some hitch in Legge's embassy; I believe we were overhasty.
Proposals of peace were expected to be laid before Parliament,
but that talk is vanished. The Duke of Newcastle, who is
going greater lengths in every thing for which he overturned
Lord Granville, is all military; and makes more courts than
one by this disposition. The Duke goes to Holland this week,
and I hear we are going to raise another million. There are
prodigious discontents in the army: the town got a list of a
hundred and fifty officers who desired at once to resign, but
I believe this was exaggerated. We are great and very exact
disciplinarians; our partialities are very strong, especially
on the side of aversions, and none of these articles tally
exactly with English tempers. Lord Robert Bertie(1421)
received a reprimand the other day by an aide-de-camp for
blowing his nose as he relieved the guard under a
window;(1422) where very exact notice is constantly taken of
very small circumstances.
We divert ourselves extremely this winter; plays, balls,
masquerades, and pharaoh are all in fashion. The Duchess of
Bedford has given a great ball, to which the King came with
thirty masks. The Duchess of Queensberry is to give him a
masquerade. Operas are the only consumptive entertainment.
There was a new comedy last Saturday, which succeeds, called
The Foundling. I like the old Conscious lovers better, and
that not much. The story is the same, only that the Bevil of
the new piece is in more hurry, and consequently more natural.
It Is extremely well acted by Garrick and Barry, Mrs. Cibber
and Mrs. Woffington. My sister was brought to bed last night
of another boy. Sir C. Williams, I hear, grows more likely to
go to Turin: you will have a more agreeable correspondent than
your present voluminous brother.(1423) Adieu!
(1420) John Stanhope, third son of Philip, third Earl of
Chesterfield, successively M. P. for Nottingham and Dorhy. He
died in 1748.-D.
(1421) Lord Robert Bertie was third son of Robert, first Duke
of Ancaster, by his second wife. He became a general in the
army and colonel of the second regiment of Guards, and was
also a lord of the bedchamber and a member of parliament. He
died in 1732.-D.
(1422) The Duke's.
(1423) Mr. Villettes.
545 Letter 249
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, March 11, 1748.
I have had nothing lately to tell you but illnesses and
distempers: there is what they call a miliary fever raging,
which has taken off a great many people, It was scarce known
till within these seven or eight years, but apparently
increases every spring and autumn. They don't know how to
treat it, but think that they have discovered that bleeding is
bad for it. The young Duke of Bridgewater(1424) is dead of
it. The Marquis of Powis(1425) is dead too, I don't know of
what: but though a Roman Catholic, he has left his whole
fortune to Lord herbert, the next male of his family, but a
very distant relation. It is twelve thousand pounds a-year,
with a very rich mine upon it; there is a debt, but the money
and personal estate will pay it. After Lord Herbert(1426) and
his brother, who are both unmarried, the estate is to go to
the daughter of Lord Waldegrave's sister, by her first
husband, who was the Marquis's brother.
In defiance of all these deaths, we are all diversions; Lady
Keith(1427) and a company of Scotch nobility have formed a
theatre, and have acted The Revenge several times; I can't say
excellently: the Prince and Princess were at it last night.
The Duchess of Queensberry gives a masquerade tonight, in
hopes of drawing the King to it; but he will not go. I do;
but must own it is wondrous foolish to dress one's self out in
a becoming dress in cold blood. There has been a new comedy
called The Foundling;(1428) far from good, but it took. Lord
Hobart and some more young men made a party to damn it, merely
for the love of damnation. The Templars espoused the play,
and went around with syringes charged with stinking oil, and
with sticking plaisters; but it did not come to action.
Garrick was impertinent, and the pretty men gave over their
plot the moment they grew to be in the right.
I must now notify to you the approaching espousals of the most
illustrious Prince Pigwiggin with Lady Rachel Cavendish, third
daughter of the Duke of Devonshire: the victim does not
dislike it! my uncle makes great settlements; and the Duke is
to get a peerage for Pigwiggin upon the foot that the father
cannot be spared out of the House of Commons! Can you bear
this old buffoon making himself of consequence, and imitating
The Princess of Orange has got a son, and we have taken a
convoy that was going to Bergen-op-zoom; two trifling
occurrences that are most pompously exaggerated, when The
whole of both is, that the Dutch, who before sold themselves
to France, will now grow excellent patriots when they have a
master entailed upon them; and we shall run ourselves more
into danger, on having got all advantage which the French
Violent animosities are sprung up in the House of Commons upon
a sort of private affair between the Chief Justice Willes and
the Grenvilles, who have engaged the ministry in an
extraordinary step, of fixing the assizes at Buckingham by act
of parliament in their favour. We have had three long days
upon it in our House, and it is not yet over; but though they
will carry it both there and in the lords, it is by a far
smaller majority than any they have had in this
Parliament.(1429) The other day, Dr. Lee and Mr. Potter had
made two very strong speeches @-against Mr. Pelham on this
subject; he rose with the greatest emotion, fell into the most
ridiculous passion, was near crying, and not knowing how to
return it on the two fell upon the Chief Justice (who was not
present), and accused him of ingratitude. The eldest Willes
got up extremely moved, but with great propriety and
cleverness told Mr. Pelham that his father had no obligation
to any man now in the ministry; that he had been obliged to
one of' the greatest Ministers that ever was, who is now no
more; that the person who accused his father of ingratitude
was now leagued with the very men who had ruined that
minister, to whom he (Mr. Pelham) owed his advancement, and
without whom he would have been nothing!" This was
dangers!-not a word of reply.
I had begun my letter before the masquerade, but had not time
to finish it: there Were not above one hundred persons; the
dresses pretty; the Duchess as mad as you remember her. She
had stuck up orders about dancing, as you see in public
bowling-greens; turned half the company out at twelve; kept
those she liked to supper; and, in short, contrived to do an
agreeable thing in the rudest manner imaginable; besides
having dressed her husband in a Scotch plaid, which just now
is One of the things in the world that is reckoned most
offensive; but you know we are all mad, so good night!
(1424) John Egerton, second Duke of Bridgewater, eldest
surviving son of Scroop, the first Duke, by his second wife,
Lady Rachel Russell. He was succeeded by his younger brother
Francis; upon whose death, in 1803, the dukedom of Bridgewater
(1425) William Herbert, second Marquis of Powis, upon whose
death the title became extinct. His father, William, the
First Marquis, was created Duke of Powis and Marquis of
Montgomery, by James the Second, after his abdication, which
titles were in consequence never allowed.-]).
(1426) Henry Arthur Herbert, Lord Herbert, afterwards created
Earl of Powis, married the young lady on whom the estate was
entailed: his brother died unmarried.
(1427) Caroline, eldest daughter of John, Duke of Argyll,
married the eldest son of the Duke of Buccleuch, who dying
before his father, she afterwards married Charles Townshend,
second son of the Lord Viscount Townshend. (She was created
Baroness Greenwich in 1767.-D.
(1428) By Edward Moore. It met with tolerable success during
its run, but on the first night of its appearance the
character of Faddle gave considerable disgust, and was much
curtailed in the ensuing representation.-E.
(1429) The bill passed the Commons on the 15th of March, by
155 to 108. For the debate thereon, see Parliamentary
History, vol. xiv. p. 206.-E.
547 Letter 250
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, April 29, 1748.
I know I have not writ to you the Lord knows when, but I
waited for something to tell you, and I have now what there
was not much reason to expect. The preliminaries to the peace
are actually signed"(1430) by the English, Dutch, and French:
the Queen,(1431) who would remain the only sufferer, though
vastly less than she could expect, protests against this
treaty, and the Sardinian minister has refused to sign too,
till further orders. Spain is not mentioned, but France
answers for them, and that they shall give us a new assiento.
The armistice is for six weeks, with an exception to
Maestricht; upon which the Duke sent Lord George Sackville to
Marshal Saxe to tell him that, as they are so near being
friends, he shall not endeavour to raise the siege and spill
more blood, but hopes the marshal will give the garrison good
terms, as they have behaved so bravely. The conditions
settled are a general restitution on all sides, as Modena to
its Duke, Flanders to the Queen, the Dutch towns to the Dutch,
Cape Breton to France, and Final to the Genoese; but the
Sardinian to have the cessions made to him by the Queen, who,
you see, is to be made observe the treaty of Worms, though we
do not. Parma and Placentia are to be given to Don Philip;
Dunkirk to remain as it is, on the land-side; but to be
Utrecht'd(1432) again to the sea. The Pretender to be
renounced, with all his descendants, male and female, even in
stronger terms than by the quadruple alliance; and the
cessation of arms to take place in all other parts of the
world, as in the year 1712. The contracting powers agree to
think of means of making the other powers come into this
treaty, in case they refuse.
This is the substance; and wonderful it is what can make the
French give us such terms, or why they have lost so much blood
and treasure to so little purpose! for they have destroyed
very little of the fortifications in Flanders. Monsieur de
St. Severin told Lord Sandwich, that he had full powers to
sign now, but that the same courier that should carry our
refusal, was to call at Namur and Bergen-op-zoom, where are
mines under all the works, which were immediately to be blown
up. There is no accounting for this, but from the King'S
aversion to go to the army, and to Marshal Saxe's fear of
losing his power with the loss of a battle. He told Count
Flemming, the Saxon minister, who asked him if the French were
in earnest in their offer of peace, "Il est vrai, nous
demandons la paix comme des l`aches, et ne pouvons pas
Stocks rise; the ministry are in spirits, and ;e s'en faut but
we shall admire this peace as our own doing! I believe two
reasons that greatly advanced it are, the King's wanting to go
to Hanover, and the Duke's wanting to go into a salivation.
We had last night the most magnificent masquerade that ever
was seen: it was by Subscription at the Haymarket: every body
who subscribed five guineas had four tickets. There were
about seven hundred people, all in chosen and very fine
dresses. The supper was in two rooms, besides those for the
King and Prince, who, with the foreign ministers, had tickets
You don't tell me whether the seal of which you sent me the
impression, is to be sold: I think it fine, but not equal to
the price which you say was paid for it. What is it? Homer or
I am very miserable at the little prospect you have of success
in your own affair: I think the person(1433) you employed has
used you scandalously. I would have you write to my uncle; but
my applying to him would be far from doing you service. Poor
Mr. Chute has
got so bad a cold that he could not go last night to the
masquerade. Adieu! my dear child! there is nothing -well that
I don't wish you, but my wishes are very ineffectual!
(1430) The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.-D.
(1431) Of Hungary.-D.
(1432) That is, the works destroyed, as they were after the
treaty of Utrecht.-D.
(1433) Mr. Stone, the Duke of Newcastle's private
549 Letter 251
To George Montagu, Esq.
May 18, 1748.
Here I am with the poor Chutehed,(1434) who has put on a shoe
but to-day for the first time. He sits at the receipt of
custom, and one passes most part, of the day here; the other
part I have the misfortune to pass en Pigwiggin. The ceremony
of dining is not over yet: I cannot say that either the Prince
or the Princess look the comelier for what has happened. The
town says, my Lady Anson(1435) has no chance for looking
different from what she did before she was married: and they
have a story of a gentleman going to the Chancellor to assure
him, that if he gave his daughter to the Admiral, he would be
obliged hereafter to pronounce a sentence of dissolution of
the marriage. The Chancellor replied, that his daughter had
been taught to think of the union of the soul, not of the
body: the gentleman then made the same confidence to the
Chancelloress, and received much such an answer: that her
daughter had been bred to submit herself to the will of God.
I don't at all give you all this for true; but there is an
ugly circumstance in his voyages of his not having the
curiosity to see a beautiful captive, that he took on board a
Spanish ship. There is no record of Scipio's having been in
Doctors' Commons. I have been reading these voyages, and find
them very silly and contradictory. He sets out with telling
you, that he had no soldiers sent with him but old invalids
without legs or arms; and then in the middle of' the book
there is a whole chapter to tell you what they would have done
if they had set out two months sooner, and that was no less
than conquering Peru and Mexico -with this disabled army. At
the end there is an account of the neglect he received from
the Viceroy of Canton, till he and forty of his sailors put
out a great fire in that city, which the Chinese and five
hundred firemen could not do, which he says proceeded from
their awkwardness; a new character of the Chinese! He was then
admitted to an audience, and found two hundred men at the gate
of the city, and ten thousand in the square before the palace,
all new dressed for the purpose. This is about as true as his
predecessor Gulliver * -* * out the fire at Lilliput. The
King is still wind-bound; the fashionable bon mot is, that the
Duke of Newcastle has tied a stone about his neck and sent him
to sea. The city grows furious about the peace; there is one
or two very uncouth Hanover articles, besides a persuasion of
a pension to the Pretender, which is so very ignominious, that
I don't know how to persuade myself it is true. The Duke of
Argyle has made them give him three places for life of a
thousand and twelve hundred a-year for three of his court, to
compensate for their making a man president of the session
against his inclination. the Princess of Wales has got a
confirmed jaundice, but they reckon her much better. Sir
Harry Calthrop is gone mad: he walked down Pall Mall t'other
day with his red riband tied about his hair said he was going
to the King, and would not submit to be blooded till they told
him the King commanded it.
I went yesterday to see Marshal Wade's house, which is selling
by auction: it is worse contrived on the inside than is
conceivable, all to humour the beauty of the front. My Lord
Chesterfield said, that to be sure he could not live in it,
but intended to take the house over against it to look at it.
It is literally true, that all the direction he gave my Lord
Burlington was to have a place for a cartoon of Rubens that he
bought in Flanders; but my lord found it necessary to have so
many correspondent doors, that there was no room at last for
the picture; and the Marshal was forced to sell the picture to
my father: it is now at Houghton.(1436)
As Windsor is so charming, and particularly as you have got so
agreeable a new neighbour at Frogmore, to be sure you cannot
wish to have the prohibition taken off on your coming to
Strawberry Hill. However, as I am an admirable Christian, and
as you seem to repent of your errors, I will give you leave to
be so happy as to come to me when you like, though I would
advise it to be after you have been at Roel,(1437) winch you
would not be able to bear after my paradise. I have told you
a vast deal of something or other, which you will scarce be
able to read; for now Mr. Chute has the gout, he keeps himself
very low and lives upon very thin ink. My compliments to all
your people. Yours ever.
(1434) John Chute, Esq. of the Vine of Hampshire.
(1435) Lord Anson married, on the 25th of April, Lady
Elizabeth Yorke, Lord Chancellor Hardwicke's eldest daughter,
an ingenious woman and a poetess. She died without issue in
(1436) Walpole gives the following account of this picture, in
his description of Houghton:- "Meleager and Atalanta, a
cartoon, by Rubens, larger than life; brought out of Flanders
by Wade: it being designed for tapestry, all the weapons are
in the left hand of the figure. For the story, see Ovid's
Metamorphoses, lib. 3. When General Wade built his house in
Burlington Garden, Lord Burlington gave the design for it."-E
(1437) A house of Mr. Montagu's in Gloucestershire.
550 Letter 252
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, May 26, 1748.
Good-by to YOU! I am going to my Roel too. I was there
yesterday to dine, and it looked so delightful, think what you
will, that I shall go there to-morrow to settle, and shall
leave this odious town to the * * *, to the regency, and the
dowagers; to my lady Townshend, who is not going to Windsor,
to old Cobham, who is not going out of the world yet, and to
the Duchess of Richmond, who does not -,go out with her
twenty-fifth pregnancy: I shall leave too more disagreeable
Ranelagh, which is so crowded, that going there t'other night
in a string of coaches we had a stop of six-and-thirty
Minutes. Princess Emily, finding no marriage articles for her
settled at the congress, has at last determined to be old and
out of danger; and has accordingly ventured to Ranelagh to the
great improvement of the pleasures of the place. The Prince
has given a silver cup to be rowed for, which carried every
body up the Thames. and afterwards there was a great ball at
Carlton house. There have two good events happened at that
court: the town was alarmed t'other morning by the firing of
guns, which proved to be only from a large merchantman come
into the river. The city construed it into the King's return,
and the peace broke; but Chancellor Bootle and the Bishop of
Oxford, who loves a tabour next to promoting the cause of it,
concluded the Princess was brought to bed, and went to court
upon it. Bootle, finding the Princess dressed, said, "I have
always heard, Madam, that women in your country have very easy
labours; but I could not have believed it was so well as I
see." The other story is of Prince Edward. The King, before
he went away, sent Stainberg to examine the Prince's children
in their learning. The Baron told Prince Edward, that he
should tell the King, what great proficiency his Highness had
made in his Latin, but that he wished he would be a little
more perfect in his German grammar, and that would be of
signal use to him. The child squinted at him, and said,
"German grammar! why any dull child can learn that." There, I
have told you royalties enough!
My Pigwiggin dinners are all over, for which I truly say
grace. I have had difficulties to keep my countenance at the
wonderful clumsiness and uncouth nicknames that the Duke has
for all his offspring: Mrs. Hopefull, Mrs. Tiddle, Puss, Cat,
and Toe, sound so strange in the middle of a most formal
banquet! The day the peace was signed, his grace could find
nobody to communicate joy with him: he drove home, and bawled
out of the chariot to Lady Rachael, "Cat! Cat!" She ran down,
staring over the balustrade; he cried, "Cat! Cat! the peace is
made, and you must be very glad, for I am very glad."
I send you the only new pamphlet worth reading, and this is
more the matter than the manner. My compliments to all your
P. S. The divine Asheton has got an ague, which he says
prevents his coming amongst us.
551 Letter 253
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, June 7, 1748.
Don't reproach me in your own Mind for not writing, but
reproach the world for doing nothing; for making peace as
slowly as they made war. When any body commits an event, I am
ready enough to tell it you; but I have always declared
against inventing news; when I do, I will set up a newspaper.
The Duke of Newcastle is not gone; he has kissed hands, and
talks of going this week: the time presses, and he has not
above three days left to fall dangerously ill. There are a
thousand wagers laid against his going: he has hired a
transport, for the yacht s not big enough to convey all the
tables and chairs and conveniences that he trails along with
him, and which he seems to think don't grow out of England. I
don't know how he proposes to lug them through Holland and
Germany, though any objections that the map can make to his
progress don't count, for he is literally so ignorant, that
when one goes to take leave of him, he asks your commands into
the north, concluding that Hanover is north of Great Britain,
because it is in the northern province, which he has just
taken: you will scarce believe this, but upon my honour it is
The preliminaries wait the accession of Spain, before they can
ripen into peace. Niccolini goes to Aix-la-Chapelle, and will
be much disappointed if his advice is not asked there: he
talks of being at Florence in October.
Sir William Stanhope has just given a great ball to Lady
Petersham, to whom he takes extremely, since his daughter
married herself to Mr. Ellis,(1438) and as the Petershams are
relations, they propose to be his heirs. The Chuteheds agreed
with me, that the house, which is most magnificently
furnished, all the ornaments designed by Kent, and the whole
festino, puts us more in mind of Florence, than any thing we
had seen here. There were silver-pharaoh and whist for the
ladies that did not dance, deep basset and quinze for the men;
the supper very fine.
I am now returning to my villa, where I have been making some
alterations: you shall hear from me from Strawberry Hill,
which I have found out in my lease is the old name of my
house; so pray, never call it Twickenham again. I like to be
there better than I have liked being any where since I came to
England. I sigh after Florence, and wind up all my prospects
with the thought of returning there. I have days when I even
set about contriving a scheme for going to you, and though I
don't love to put you upon expecting me, I cannot help telling
you, that I wish more than ever to be with you again. I can
truly say, that I never was happy but at Florence, and you
must allow that it is very natural to wish to be happy once
(1438) The Right Hon. Welbore Ellis, afterwards created Lord
Mendip. His first wife was Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir
William Stanhope, K. B. She died in 1761.-D.
553 Letter 254
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1439)
Strawberry Hill, June 27th, 1748.
I have full as little matter for writing as you can find in a
camp. I do not call myself farmer or country gentleman; for
though I have all the ingredients to compose those characters,
yet, like the ten pieces of card in the trick you found out, I
don't know how to put them together. But, in short, planting
and fowls and cows and sheep are my whole business, and as
little amusing to relate to anybody else as the events of a
stillborn campaign. If I write to any body, I am forced to
live upon what news I hoarded before I came out of town;
and the first article of that, as I believe it is in every
body's gazette, must be about my Lord Coke. They say, that
since he has been at Sunning Hill with Lady Mary,(1440 she has
made him a declaration in form, that she hates him, that she
always did, and that she always will. This seems to have been
a very unnecessary notification. However, as you know his
part is to be extremely in love, he is very miserable upon it;
and relating his woes at White's, probably at seven in the
morning, he was advised to put an end to all this history and
shoot himself-an advice
they would not have given him if he were not insolvent. He
has promised to consider of it.
The night before I left London, I called at the Duchess of
Richmond's, who has stayed at home with the apprehension of a
miscarriage. The porter told me there was no drawing-room
till Thursday. In short, he did tell me what amounted to as
much, that her grace did not see company till Thursday, then
she should see every body: no excuse, that she was gone out or
not well. I did not stay till Thursday to kiss hands, but
went away to Vauxhall: as I was coming out, I was overtaken by
a great light, and retired under the trees of Marble Hall to
see what it should be. There came a long procession of Prince
Lobkowitz's footmen in very rich new liveries, the two last
bearing torches; and after them the Prince himself', in a new
sky-blue watered tabby Coat, with gold buttonholes and a
magnificent gold waistcoat fringed, leading Madame
ambassadrice de Venise in a green sack with a straw hat,
attended by my Lady Tyrawley, Wall, the private
Spanish agent, the two Miss Molyneux's, and some other men.
They went into one of the Prince of Wales's barges, had
another barge filled with violins and hautboys, and an open
boat with drums and trumpets. This was one of the f`etes des
adieux. The nymph weeps all the morning and says she is sure
she shall be poisoned by her husband's relations when she
returns for her behaviour with this Prince.
I have no other news, but that Mr. Fitzpatrick has married his
Sukey Young, and is very impatient to have the Duchess of
Bedford come to town to visit her new relation.
Is not my Lady Ailesbury(1442) weary of her travels? Pray make
her my compliments,-unless she has made you any such
declaration as Lady Mary Coke's. I am delighted with your
description of the bedchamber of the House of Orange, as I did
not see it; but the sight itself must have been very odious,
as the hero and heroine are so extremely ugly. I shall give
it my Lady Townshend as a new topic of matrimonial satire.
Mr. Churchill and Lady Mary have been with me two or three
days, and are now gone to Sunning. I only tell you this, to
hint that my house will hold a married pair; indeed, it is not
quite large enough for people who lie, like the patriarchs,
with their whole genealogy, and men-servants, and
maid-servants, and oxes, and asses, in the same chamber with
them. Adieu! do let this be the last letter, and come home.
(1440) Now first printed.
(1441) See ant`e, p. 498 (Letter 215).-E.
(1442) On the 19th of the preceding December, Mr. Conway had
married Caroline, widow of Charles Bruce, Earl of Ailesbury,
and only daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Campbell,
afterwards fourth Duke of Argyle.-E.
554 Letter 255
To Sir Horace Mann.
Mistley, July 14, 1748.
I would by no means resent your silence while you was at Pisa,
if it were not very convenient; but I cannot resist 'the
opportunity of taking it ill, when it serves to excuse my
being much more to blame; and therefore, pray mind, I am very
angry, and have not written, because you had quite left me
off-and if I say nothing from hence,(1443) do not imagine it
is because I am at a gentleman's house whom you don't know,
and threescore miles from London, and because I have been but
three days in London for above this month: I could say a great
deal if I pleased, but I am very angry, and will not. I know
several pieces of politics from Ipswich that would let you
into the whole secret of the peace; and a quarrel at Denham
assembly, that is capable of involving all Europe in a new
war-nay, I know that Admiral Vernon(1444) knows of what you
say has happened in the West Indies, and of which nobody else
in England knows a word-but please to remember that you have
been at the baths, and don't deserve that I should tell you a
tittle-nor will I. In revenge, I will tell you some- thing
that happened to me four months ago, and which I would not
tell you now. if I had not forgot to tell it you when it
happened-nay, I don't tell it you now for yourself, only that
you may tell it the Princess: I truly and seriously this
winter won and was paid a milleleva at pharaoh; literally
received a thousand and twenty-three sixpences for one: an
event that never happened in the annals of pharaoh, but to
Charles II.'s Queen Dowager, as the Princess herself informed
me: ever since I have treated myself as Queen Dowager, and
have some thoughts of being drawn so.
There are no good anecdotes yet arrived of the Duke of
Newcastle's travels, except that at a review which the Duke
made for him, as he passed through the army, he hurried about
with his glass up to his eye, crying, "Finest troops! finest
troops! greatest General!" then broke through the ranks when
he spied any Sussex man, kissed him in all his
accoutrements,-my dear Tom such an one! chattered of Lewes
races; then back to the Duke with "Finest troops! greatest
General!"-and in short was a much better show than any review.
The Duke is expected over immediately; I don't know if to
stay, or why he comes-I mean, I do know, but am angry, and
will not tell.
I have seen Sir James Grey, who speaks of you with great
affection, and recommends himself extremely to me by it, when
I am not angry with you; but I cannot possibly be reconciled
till I have finished this letter, for I have nothing but this
quarrel to talk of, and I think I have worn that out-so adieu!
you odious, shocking, abominable monster!
(1443) Mistley near Manningtree, in Essex, the seat of Richard
(1444) He lived near Ipswich.
555 Letter 256
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, ---
I beg you will let me know whether the peace has arrived in
Italy, or if you have heard any thing of it; for in this part
of the world nobody can tell what has become of it. They say
the Empress Queen has stopped it; that she will not take back
the towns in Flanders, which she says she knows are very
convenient for us, but of no kind of use to her, and that she
chooses to keep what she has got in Italy. However, we are
determined to have peace at any rate, and the conditions must
jumble themselves together as they can. These are the
politics of Twickenham, my metropolis; and, to tell you the
truth, I believe pretty near as good as you can have any
As to my own history, the scene is at present a little gloomy:
my Lord Orford is in an extreme bad state of health, not to
say a dangerous state: my uncle(1445) ' is going off in the
same way my father did. I don't pretend to any great feelings
of affection for two men, because they are dying, for whom it
is known I had little before, my brother especially having
been as much my enemy as it was in his power to be; but I
cannot with indifference see the family torn to pieces, and
falling into such ruin as I foresee; for should my brother die
soon, leaving so great a debt, so small an estate to pay it
off, two great places(1446)
sinking, and a wild boy of nineteen to succeed, there would be
an end to the glory of Houghton, which had my father
proportioned more to his fortune, would probably have a longer
duration. This is an unpleasant topic to you who feel for
us-however, I should not talk of it to one who would not feel.
Your brother Gal. and I had a very grave conversation
yesterday morning on this head; he thinks so like you, so
reasonably and with so much good nature, that I seem to be
only finishing a discourse that I have already had with you.
As my fears about Houghton are great, I am a little pleased to
have finished a slight memorial(1447) of It, a description of
the pictures, of which I have just printed an hundred, to give
to particular people: I will send you one, and shall beg Dr.
Cocchi to accept another.
If I could let myself wish to see you in England, it would be
to see you here: the little improvements I am making have
really turned Strawberry Hill into a charming villa: Mr.
Chute, I hope, will tell you how pleasant it is; I mean
literally tell you, for we have a glimmering of' a Venetian
prospect; he is just going from hence to town by water, down
You never say a word to me from the Princess, nor any of my
old friends: I keep up our intimacy in my own mind; for I will
not part with the idea of seeing Florence again. Whenever I
am displeased here, the thoughts of that journey are my
resource; just as cross would-be devout people, when they have
quarrelled with this world, begin packing up for the other.
(1445) Lord Orford did not die till 1751, and old Horace
Walpole not till 1757.-D.
(1446) Auditor of the exchequer and Master of the buck-hounds.
(1447) "Aedes Walpolianae, or a Description of the Pictures at
Houghton Hall, in Norfolk," first printed in 1747, and again
556 Letter 257
To George Montagu, Esq.
Mistley, July 25, 1748.
I have wished you with me extremely: you would have liked what
I have seen. I have been to make a visit of two or three days
to Nugent, and was carried to see the last remains of the
glory of the old Aubrey de Veres, Earls of Oxford. They were
once masters of' almost this entire county, but quite reduced
even before the extinction of their house: the last Earl's son
died at a miserable cottage, that I was shown at a distance;
and I think another of the sisters, besides Lady Mary Vere,
was forced to live upon her beauty.
Henningham Castle, where Harry the Seventh(1448) was so
sumptuously banqueted, and imposed that villainous fine for
his entertainment, is now shrunk to one vast curious tower,
that stands on a spacious mount raised on a high hill with a
large fosse. It commands a fine prospect, and belongs to Mr.
Ashurst, a rich citizen, who has built a trumpery new house
close to it. In the parish church is a fine square monument
of black marble of one of the Earls; and there are three more
tombs of the family at Earl's Colne, some miles from the
castle. I could see but little of them, as it was very late,
except that one of the Countesses has a headdress exactly like
the description of Mount Parnassus, with two tops. I suppose
you have heard much of Gosfield, Nugent's seat. It is
extremely in fashion, but did not answer to me, though there
are fine things about it; but being situated in a country that
is quite blocked up with hills upon hills, and even too much
wood, it has not an inch of prospect. The park is to be
sixteen hundred acres, and is bounded with a wood of five
miles round; and the lake, which is very beautiful, is of
seventy acres, directly in a line with the house, at the
bottom of a fine lawn, and broke with very pretty groves, that
fall down a Slope into it. The house is vast, built round a
very old court that has never been fine; the old windows and
gateway left, and the old gallery, which is a bad narrow room,
and hung with all the late patriots, but so ill done, that
they look like caricatures done to expose them, since they
have so much disgraced the virtues they pretended to. The
rest of the house is all modernized, but in patches, and in
the bad taste that came between the charming venerable Gothic
and pure architecture. There is a great deal of good
furniture, but no one room very fine - no tolerable pictures.
Her dressing-room is very pretty, and furnished with white
damask, china, japan, loads of easy chairs, bad pictures, and
some pretty enamels. But what charmed me more than all I had
seen, is the library chimney, which has existed from the
foundation of the house; over it is an alto-relievo in wood,
far from being ill done, of the battle of Bosworth Field. It
is all white, except the helmets and trappings, which are
gilt, and the shields, which are properly blazoned with the
arms of all the chiefs engaged. You would adore it.
We passed our time very agreeably; both Nugent and his wife
are very good-humoured, and easy in their house to a degree.
There was nobody else but the Marquis of Tweedale; his new
Marchioness,(1451) who is infinitely good-humoured and good
company, and sang a thousand French songs mighty prettily; a
sister of Nugent's, who does not figure; and a Mrs.
Elliot,(1452) sister to Mrs. Nugent, who crossed over and
figured in with Nugent: I mean she has turned Catholic, as he
has Protestant. She has built herself a very pretty small
house in the path-, and is only a daily visiter. Nugent was
extremely communicative of his own labours; repeated us an ode
of ten thousand stanzas to abuse Messieurs de la Gallerie, and
reid me a whole tragedy, which has really a great many @